Taliban and Extremists at War Against Pakistan

Posted on September 14, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics, Religion, Society
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Adil Najam

While I, like everyone else, remain fully engrossed in the political circus of Pakistan and the shenanigans of messers Musharraf, Bhutto, Sharif, Rahman, and Co., there is, as we have suggested before, a real war – a terrible war – that Pakistan is involved in right now.

The bigger crisis in Pakistan today is the increasing assault of the Talibal-like extremists on the very fabric of Pakistan society. They are using the unpopularity of the government, of the military, and of USA as a camouflage to attack and kill Pakistanis. These murderers and criminals have no interest or allegience to Pakistan and are the true and real enemies of Pakistan. What is truly frightening is how many Pakistanis are willing to defend or ignore these thugs and murders either because they themselves do not like the government, the US or the military or just because these murderers are supposedly acting in the name of Islam and therefore should be ignored. Such attitude – which is becoming widespread – is deeply worrisome.

As Pakistanis we have to decide whether we stand with Pakistan and or with those who are killing Pakistanis. We must not let these extremist Talibans use our dislike for the government or for USA or for the military nor our love for Islam as a tool to divide us. We can settle our other political scores elsewhere and at another time. Right now it is clear who the enemy of Pakistan is and we must speak out against them.

The killing of soldiers, the attacks on security services, and the kidnappings of Pakistani soldiers makes the news, but it is the smaller news that slips by which shows the true extent of how deeply the fascist tendencies of these new Taliban are and how grave a threat to the fabric of Pakistan and to our Pakistaniat these people are.

Here are three recent news items which I find truly frightening and very very disturbing.

First, this this disturbing news from Bajaur, reported in Daily Times and all other national newspapers:

Suspected militants blew up a tailor’s shop on Thursday in northwest Pakistan for making Western clothes, an official said. The pre-dawn blast also damaged two other nearby shops in Kasi, a village in the tribally governed Bajur region, the AP quoted Mohammed Khan, a local government official, as saying. No one was hurt. Khan said militants recently warned the tailor to stop making Western-style clothes, which they view as ‘un-Islamic’.

Online reported that a bomb exploded along the roadside in Saliarzai tehsil. No casualties were reported. In Bannu, police and a bomb disposal squad defused three powerful remote-controlled bombs on the Bannu-Miranshah roadside near Masoomabad. Bannu DPO Dar Ali Khattak told APP that the police were probing the matter.

Staff reports add: Swabi police defused a bomb planted at the building of the population welfare office. People found the bomb packed in a ghee tin. They called the bomb disposal squad in Mardan, which defused the bomb. Militants destroyed a narcotics shop with a bomb late on Wednesday in Pusht bazaar of Salarzai tehsil in Bajaur Agency.

Next this news that is so reminiscent of the Bamiyan destruction and also of what happened to the Bodhi tree in Islamabad. According to Dawn:

In a grim reminder of destruction of world famous Buddha statues in Bamiyan by the Afghan Taliban, blasts in Swat’s Buthgarh Jehanabad historical site on Tuesday damaged rocks engraved with Buddha’s images. The Gandhara civilisation site was attacked with two explosive devices early on Tuesday morning.

The area is about 20km from here, near the tourist resort of Malam Jabba. Before the recent deterioration of the law and order situation in the valley, hundreds of tourists, mainly Buddhists, used to visit the site. Local people said one explosive device had been planted on top and another in the foot of the rocks. The images were not damaged but a portion of the rock was. They believed that it was the handiwork of local militants.

Finally, this most disturbing and harrowing news about militants beheading two women just because they thought they were ‘prostitutes’. The parallel to Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa is haunting. No evidence, no trial. Just an accusation and then a brutal beheading. This is not my Islam, this is not my Pakistan. Swift and clear action needs to be taken against these fascist murderers. I think The News editorial is exactly right in saying:

The beheading of two women in Bannu, allegedly because they were involved in “immoral” activities is shocking and reminds one of the infamous Salem witch trials of 17th century North America where dogma was used to target and burn at the stake women whose actions did not conform to the boundaries set for them by a conservative and rigid society. Those behind the beheadings are sadly mistaken if they think that they, by brutally killing a person without trial, are acting in a pious and virtuous manner if anything they are afflicted with a perverse mind themselves and acting no different than beasts. To say that the beheadings require a swift response from the government in that such mercenary acts by extremists have to be checked and those behind the murders caught and punished is to say the obvious. This is in fact the least that one expects from the authorities. The women were reportedly abducted by local militants for allegedly being involved in prostitution. The militants, of which there is no dearth now in certain parts of the country, have taken upon themselves to enforce a rigid version of the Sharia. However, what they did with these two women is nothing short of deliberate and pre-meditated murder. That they should act with impunity, and that too in a district which is the home of the NWFP chief minister, speaks volumes of the government’s inability to act against such marauding vigilantes. Till now, the normal targets were music and CD shops and there was little or no loss of life. This was followed by lethal attacks on NGO workers and a female social worker some months ago and she too was killed. Had the government acted against these militants at that time and not been ambiguous and uncertain in its response to the growing Talibanisation of the region, perhaps the gruesome act of beheading two women would not have taken place.

In fact, one can also draw parallels with what happened in Bannu and the abduction of women by the Lal Masjid vigilantes some months back. The only difference is that those women, also alleged to be involved in “immoral activities” were released after being forced to ‘acknowledge’ their so-called misdeeds. The women who were abducted in Bannu were obviously not as lucky. What will happen next. Will any woman who is seen walking without a veil or talking to man be a legitimate target for abduction and eventual beheading by these militants? It should also be remembered that the perception or understanding of what constitutes immoral behaviour is by no means uniform in Pakistani society.

But that is still beside the question, which is: what gives the right to anyone to label a woman a ‘prostitute’ and then proceed to take away her life? One isn’t living in the Dark Ages, despite the wishes of some in society to push Pakistan to that era. And there is a head of state who never tires of saying that extremism in the country needs to be tackled head on and that the whole nation needs to support him on this. Unfortunately, it is the government itself which often fails to come good on this, usually falling short of taking the fight to the extremists. The result is before us- parts of the country, especially FATA and some settled districts of NWFP adjacent to the tribal areas falling under the influence of the militants who go about forcing others to live according to their own rigid version of Sharia. The militants do not have any altruistic motives, they rather want political power, which is what they will continue to see grow as long as the government fails to act and apprehend those behind such moral policing and vigilante acts.

These are just a sample. One reads every day of these Taliban kidnapping soldiers, blowing bombs in large cities,trashing video shops, killing Pakistanis. What they are doing is not just criminal, it is an attack on Pakistan. But equally disturbing is the silence or consent of the many who are willing to ignore or condone these acts just because they have bought into the extremists agenda about how all of this is really against the USA or Musharraf. Killing Pakistanis is an attack on Pakistan and it is time for all to stand up against the extremists and for Pakistan.

109 responses to “Taliban and Extremists at War Against Pakistan”

  1. Mansoor says:

    Blame game!!!

    Easy to blame “others” than oneself!! It is always “the other party’s” fault.

    I am referring to True Pakistani’s comment about CIA connection!

    Here is a scenario:

    A Pakistani movie/TV actress gained weight…

    Fill in the blank with any name and there will be such a hue and cry that this has to be an American conspiracy!

  2. True Pakistani says:

    A good writeup on the so called “Talibanization”, but you omitted an important side of this senario, that is CIA connections with the so called “Taliban” or CIA/ American touts in the guise of Talibaan. You can read about this on
    following web pages
    http://pakistanthinktank.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? f=6&p=1132

    http://www.defence.pk/forums/war-terror/18486-us-a rmy-vs-taliban-who-whose-side-2.html

    http://www.defence.pk/forums/war-terror/13673-cia- indian-afghan-involvement-wot-pakistan-7.html

    You can find a large number of web pages on this by typing “Baitullah Mehsood CIA agent” or”Baitullah Mehsud CIA agent” in Google search

  3. Pakistani says:

    In all the fuss over Musahrraf I hope we do not forget that we are at war and under attack from an enemy that is amongst us – the extremists who are bent on killing Pakistanis. I am happy to see Musharraf go an hope that we can now concentrate on the real war in Pakistan and root out these evil extremists.

    As if to announce to us that they are still out there and killing innocent Pakistanis, even ill and sick ones, here is what these cowardly extremists did today:

    “23 dead in Pakistan hospital suicide blast PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Aug 19 (AFP): A suicide bomber blew himself up Tuesday at a hospital in the northwestern Dera Ismail Khan town, killing at least 23 people, police said. The explosion happened as people gathered to protest over the death of a man in a suspected sectarian attack in the town, said provincial police chief Malik Naveed Khan.

  4. GreenSufi says:

    Well written article Adil, but you have not highlighted the systematic massacre of Barelvis and Sufis by these militants, especially by the so-called “Lashkar e Islam” of Mangal Bagh.

    The Barelvi or Sufi families, are admittedly fast turning into a minority in predominantly and increasingly Deobandi pashtun areas.

    But with Mangal Bagh and Munir Shakir’s attacks, the situation is grim: they have killed Sufis/ Barelvis especially the supporters of Afghan Pir, Akhundzada Saifur Rahman Naqshbandi. Their men are butchered and their women and property made ‘halal’ by Mangal Bagh’s followers.

    Astaghfirullah. God preserve us from this madness.

  5. Mercede says:

    Many of you ignore the fact that these taliban company is a foreign funded organization to destabilize pakistan. Since Islam is a very emotional issue for people with no actual knowledge of islam this organization uses the distorted stuff to brainwash people. Does islam allow suiside, let alone the suisidal attacks to kill so many innocent people?

    I suspect the main problem s gawadar port which is the shortest route to the sea for soviet block which has an abundance of OIL and Petrolium. It is also the shortest route from western china to the sea. If you have been watching closely china has signed many agreements with pakistan to use pakistan trade route. and has been a heavy investor for Gwadar port.

    We all know that Blochistan Libration Army is an indian supported organization which yesterday (April 23, 2008) killed a university Vice chanceller for thier brutal agenda. Akbar bugti was no innocent man, rather a terrorist against state though i think he deserved a trial.

    People of pakistan are very stupid and fail to understand these external forces except for the educated ones. consider the judge crisis. if CJ is restored will it help pakistani people? exactly how? due to the bycotts by lawers 430,000 cases everyday (read it in a newspaper) are in pending. who is suffering here because of them? and media is just too busy to projecting it as the main problem in pakistan.

    We know that the media had been very biassed in the case of hUqooq-e-Niswan bill and geo was reporting a rape case weekly. Rapes are still happening. I read the news in jang about a gang rape by Shalimar police in Islamabad (F10/2) Geo doesnt have time to report it now. Why should they? they have their Huqqooq -e-Niswan bill passed. now if someone gets raped it’s her problem not theirs’

    We need to open our eyes and we have to stop blaming musharaf for everything that goes wrong. Listen to the vulgarity the FM radio’s are spreading. Musharaf never personally told those anchor persons to go cheap. Who asks for rishwat in goverment offices and some of the semi private offices? For god sake stop blaming one person for your problems or the problems of the society. When Nawaz shareef goverment was dismissed, people in the country rejoiced. now on the return people again rejoiced. have they forgotten Qarz uttaro Mulk sawanro corruption or the baitul mal case? who is actually stupid? you decide

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